The Cleanest Line

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    « August 2009 | Main | October 2009 »

    Footprint Chronicles Gets Freshened Up for Fall

    Footprint_F09

    We’ve just updated the Footprint Chronicles, our interactive mini-site we use to share information about how and where our products are manufactured, what the environmental costs are and how we think the process can be improved.

    There are a number of new features in today's Footprint update but the highlight is the release of the second in a three-part video series dedicated to investigating the issues of social and environmental responsibility and product quality. Our first documentary explored social responsibility and offshore manufacturing. Our new installment, What Comes Next?, explores environmental responsibility in the Patagonia supply chain.

    Our latest installment also includes three newly chronicled items – a recycled fleece jacket, synthetic high-loft insulation, and a waterproof/breathable jacket. Together, these new additions to the Chronicles take us deeper into our Footprint investigations by illustrating how trying to do the right thing creates its own set of environmental challenges.

    Make the jump for a full list of features in our new Footprint Chronicles.

    Continue reading "Footprint Chronicles Gets Freshened Up for Fall " »

    Big Wall Free Climbing on Baffin Island

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    Patagonia Rock Climbing Ambassadors Nicolas Favresse and Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll recently returned from a month of superlative success on Baffin Island's numerous remote and wild granite walls. We were thrilled to receive Nico's letter (below) and have been spending no small amount of time ogling all of the outstanding photos they brought home. We can't bear to sit on this meaty news any longer but need to beg your pardon - it's a bit more medium-rare than we typically like to serve up (read: captions are lean on details). We'll get those updated shortly. Until then, here's Nico: 
    Sean Villanueva, Stephane Hanssens, Olivier Favresse and I Just came back from an expedition in Baffin Island. We had an awesome trip! Free climbing in Baffin is amazing and the potential for free climbing and first ascents seems endless. Our main target was to climb around Mount Asgard (in Inuit, Sivanitirutinguak), which is one of the craziest looking mountains I have ever seen. It consists of two cylindrical towers with super steep and long walls all around. (hit the jump for more story and loads of amazing pictures)
    [Sean Villanueva O'Driscoll practicing what his fellow Pataognia Climbing Ambassdor Nicolas Favresse calls "his best skill," in the heart of the high lonesome. Photo: Stephanne Hanssens]

    Continue reading "Big Wall Free Climbing on Baffin Island" »

    Patagonia Ambassador Moehl Takes 1st in Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, Sets Course Record

    Krissy finish2 [Editor's note: The following report comes to us from Patagonia Athlete Liaison, Kristo Torgerson, with photos courtesy of Justin Bastien (www.justinbastien.com).]

    On August 30th, Patagonia Ambassador Krissy Moehl left an indelible mark on the ultra-running world when she crossed the finish line in Chamonix, France to take first place in the Women’s division at the 7th annual Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc (UTMB); a 103-mile circumnavigation of the Mont Blanc massif, stretching across France, Italy and Switzerland, with over 31,000 feet of elevation gain. Krissy’s time of 24:56:01 also earned her a new Women’s course record, made her the first American woman to cross the finish line, and landed her 11th overall in a race that began with over 2,200 competitors. 2nd place went to last year’s winner, Britain’s Elizabeth Hawker, who crossed the finish line over an hour behind Krissy. Patagonia also had Ambassador John Stamstad and employee Jenny Uehisa finish the race with times of 39:52:14 and 43:23:25 respectively.

    The news of Krissy’s victory has been a jaw-dropping experience for all of us here at Patagonia. Like overjoyed parents, we couldn’t be more proud of her. Many of us have found ourselves reveling, “1st place!…1st American!…course record!…11th overall!…all in the Multi Use Skirt!!”. I’ve even had a few friends who were present at the race say what they found most impressive was how much energy she carried through the finish line with her – all smiles, and laughter and looking fresh.  

    We’ve been privileged to work with Krissy for many years now, and in her role as an ambassador she wears several hats. As an accomplished ultra runner, employee of the Conservation Alliance, and vibrant  (hit the jump to continue reading)

    [Patagonia Ambassador Krissy Moehl crossing the finish line to claim the Women's title in the 103-mile Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. Photo, Justin Bastien, www.justinbastien.com]

    Continue reading "Patagonia Ambassador Moehl Takes 1st in Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc, Sets Course Record" »

    Patagonia Ambassdor Steve House - Tonight in Ventura

    Beyond the Mtn Cover "22,000 feet on the Rupal Face, Nanga Parbat, Pakistan: August 15, 2004. I take a deep breath and push the honed edge of the knife against the rope. It doesn't cut. I whetted the edge for just this reason. Frustrated, I look at the small knife in the palm of my mitten. I have carried this knife upwards for four days, on a climb where every ounce counts both towards and against my own survival. The rope is sacred, both a symbol and the truest expression of partnership, but if I can cut it Bruce and I can rid ourselves of four pounds and climb to the summit."

    If you're in the Ventura area tonight, come on by Patagonia Headquarters. We'll be hosting Ambassador Steve House as he offers photos and stories from his alpine adventures and shares excerpts from his newly released book, Beyond the Mountain. Says Alpinist editor-in-chief Michael Kennedy, "In Beyond the Mountain, Steve gives us a rare and profoundly personal glimpse of the drive, dedication and focus behind today's light-and-fast ascents."

    Come spend the evening with Patagonia and Steve House. Copies of the book will be available and Steve will be offering signings.

    September 10th, Ventura, CA

    Patagonia’s Headquarters (The Grand Room)
    6:30 pm – reading and signing with slide show
    259 West Santa Clara St
    Ventura, CA
    805-643-6074

    Interview: Patagonia Employee Sets New Record on the Pacific Crest Trail

    Heart of sierra If you've ever called Patagonia's Customer Service line and asked a question about ultra-light hiking, then chances are good you've been referred to Adam Bradley. He's been working for Patagonia for years, during that time developing a reputation as one of the most fired-up, friendly, and knowledgeable customer service reps out there. He keeps his fire blazing by using his time off each summer to chip away at a personal list of long-distance, ultralight thru-hiking objectives. With each hike, he became more fired-up and serious about bigger and bigger objectives. This summer, he and ultralight-hiking guru Scott Williamson took their passion to a new level, setting the record for the fastest-ever thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. We were fortunate to grab an interview with Adam shortly after his return:

    - First the basics: Tell us what record you set, and how it relates to the previous one.

    On the evening of August the 12th Scott Williamson and I set the unsupported Pacific Crest Trail speed record. Our time from the international border of Baja California Norte to the northern terminus was 65 days 9 hours 58 minutes and 47 seconds. This is 21 hrs faster than David Horton’s supported 2005 Pacific Crest Trail speed record, and 6 days faster than Scott Williamson and Tatu Joe Kisner's 2008 unsupported record.

    [Scott Williamson in the High Sierra, on his way - with partner, Adam Bradley - to a new PCT speed record. Photo, Adam Bradley.]

    Continue reading "Interview: Patagonia Employee Sets New Record on the Pacific Crest Trail" »

    Patagonia Terminates Relationship with SIGG Water Bottles

    Water bottle Patagonia formally announced on September 4th that it would terminate all co-branding and co-marketing efforts with SIGG, Inc. It has come to Patagonia’s attention from recent news reports that a Bisphenol A (BPA) epoxy coating was used in most aluminum SIGG bottles manufactured prior to August 2008, despite earlier assurances from SIGG that the liners of their bottles did not contain BPA. Bisphenol A is a chemical that Patagonia does not support the use of in consumer products, hence the company has terminated its co-branding relationship with SIGG. In addition, Patagonia is ceasing the sale of SIGG bottles in its stores, as well as through its catalog and on-line distribution.
     
    Unfortunately, readers of Backpacker Magazine will notice a SIGG advertisement featuring Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia’s founder and owner, holding a SIGG bottle with a 1% for the Planet logo on it. This ad was created in an effort to support and promote 1% for the Planet, an alliance of companies that dedicate 1% of annual sales to environmental organizations, which was co-founded by Yvon Chouinard. Once Patagonia learned through media reports that SIGG bottles did indeed contain BPA in the liners, the company immediately terminated its co-marketing agreement with SIGG and attempted to remove ads from both Outside Magazine and Backpacker. The ads were successfully pulled from Outside. Unfortunately, Backpacker had already gone to print.

    “We did our homework on the topic of BPA, going all the way back to 2005 when this subject first emerged in discussions in scientific journals” Rick Ridgeway, Patagonia’s VP of environmental initiatives states. “We even arranged for one of the leading scientists on BPA research to come to our company to educate us on the issue. Once we concluded there was basis for concern, we immediately pulled all drinking bottles that contained BPA from our shelves and then searched for a BPA-free bottle. We very clearly asked SIGG if there was BPA in their bottles and their liners, and they clearly said there was not. After conducting such thorough due diligence, we are more than chagrined to see the ad that is appearing in Backpacker, but we also feel that with this explanation our customers will appreciate and understand our position.”  
     
    Patagonia continues to support 1% for the Planet in all possible ways, but will no longer do so through co-promotion with SIGG.
     
    With regard to Patagonia customer support, Patagonia is currently accepting returns of any SIGG bottle purchased through Patagonia and is offering its customers full refunds. All unused SIGG inventory on Patagonia retail store shelves is being returned to SIGG to be recycled - and the company is currently searching for another bottle vendor. Customers interested in returning their Patagonia-labeled SIGG bottles can bring them to their nearest Patagonia store, or click for complete directions for mail-in returns.

    Happy Birthday Wilderness Act

    Boundary sign Labor Day is upon us. For many, this weekend is the time to launch a last-ditch attempt to get out into a nice, quiet piece of the great-big open. Whether camping, hiking, climbing, paddling, fishing, or simply savouring summer's final reprieve from the daily urbanized bustle, Labor Day has become, more than any other holiday weekend, the time when Americans take fullest advantage of their wilderness heritage. Fitting timing, considering today marks the day Americans received one of the grandest gifts they've ever given themselves - the Wilderness Act. Here's Lindsay Woods, of the Campaign for America's Wilderness, with some gorp for thought on this special day - a day, it turns out, that will now forever commemorate the official presidential declaration of September as National Wilderness Month:

    One of the nation’s most important and enduring conservation laws turned 45 today – the Wilderness Act – the tool by which citizens can work with Congress to permanently protect some of the nation’s remaining wild places as a gift to future generations.

    Born of a solid political collaboration between a liberal Senator, Hubert Humphrey (D-MN) and a conservative Congressman, John Saylor (R-PA), this landmark legislation immediately gave the “gold standard” of wilderness protection to the first nine million acres of America’s natural treasures, including Montana and Idaho’s Selway-Bitterroot Wilderness, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota, the John Muir Wilderness in California, and New Mexico’s Gila Wilderness.
    [Something special happens once you step behind one of these signs. Photo: localcrew]

    Continue reading "Happy Birthday Wilderness Act" »

    Summer Reading: "Chasing Waves: A Surfer's Tale of Obsessive Wandering"; Win a Signed Copy

    CWcover-lowrez Amy Waeschle is the author of the field report "WAP #96" and a former Patagonia catalog copy writer. She's one of the friendliest, most surf-stoked women I've ever met, especially for someone who lives in a place where conditions are finicky and 5mil wetsuits are the norm. It was a pleasure working with Amy and a joy to introduce her and Kurt (her husband) to the waves at Rincon during one of their visits from the Northwest a few years back.

    Today I'd like to share news of Amy's first book, Chasing Waves: A Surfer's Tale of Obsessive Wandering. In it she chronicles her evolution from nervous newbie to self-confident and skillful surfer, and how she learned to balance love and family with her overwhelming surf lust. Says Patagonia surf ambassador Mary Osborne, "A sense of freedom, overcoming fears, discovering new cultures, dealing with love, the exciting, unexplainable feeling of riding a wave – this is what Chasing Waves is all about."

    Hit the jump for an excerpt from Chasing Waves and a chance to win a copy of the book.

    Continue reading "Summer Reading: "Chasing Waves: A Surfer's Tale of Obsessive Wandering"; Win a Signed Copy" »

    BAG en Peru

    Untitled 1 As the speeding and swaying double-decker bus hurtled head-on toward us in our lane, forcing us onto the shoulder of the Pan American Norte highway, I began to rethink our decision to rent a car in Lima and make the two-day drive up the coast to Chicama and Pacasmayo, two of Peru’s most famous and longest pointbreaks.

    [Editor’s note: Today’s post is courtesy of Patagonia rock climbing ambassador Brittany Anne Griffith. All photos © Jonathan Thesenga]

    Why didn’t we just book one of those San Diego Dentist Surfari Specials that have become so popular where everything is taken care of – food, flight, transportation, lodging, surf guide, masseuse – maximizing your vacation luxury and minimizing your interaction with all local people except the gated resort’s English speaking staff? Those package surf tours are everywhere now, even Chicama has one: a short 50-minute flight from Lima to Trujillo (skipping the hairball drive we were trying to survive), then a cheerful driver from the American owned and run resort (where, of course, everyone speaks perfect English) picks you up, delivering to the doorstep of the resort in time for an afternoon surf (complete with private Zodiac shuttles back to the point), then the servants rinse off your wetsuit for you as you enjoy a cool down swim in the infinity pool and a deluxe Gringo-friendly dinner (“Extra breadsticks with your lobster bisque soup, ma’am?”), before some evening cocktails and unwind time (“I’ll have the single-malt, and bring it down to me at the jacuzzi”), a quick check of your email and the surf forecast on the resort’s high-speed Wi-Fi, maybe catch the latest episode of House on the flat screen and then a pleasant slumber in your deluxe suite with cushy beds, Egyptian cotton sheets and tempurpedic pillows. Sure it costs $1,500 per person per day, but this was supposed to be a vacation, right?

    Continue reading "BAG en Peru" »

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